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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A viral resistance gene from common bean functions across plant families and is up-regulated in a non-virus-specific manner.

  • Author(s): Seo, Young-Su
  • Rojas, Maria R
  • Lee, Jung-Youn
  • Lee, Sang-Won
  • Jeon, Jong-Seong
  • Ronald, Pamela
  • Lucas, William J
  • Gilbertson, Robert L
  • et al.

Genes involved in a viral resistance response in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris cv. Othello) were identified by inoculating a geminivirus reporter (Bean dwarf mosaic virus expressing the green fluorescent protein), extracting RNA from tissue undergoing the defense response, and amplifying sequences with degenerate R gene primers. One such gene (a TIR-NBS-LRR gene, RT4-4) was selected for functional analysis in which transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana were generated and screened for resistance to a range of viruses. This analysis revealed that RT4-4 did not confer resistance to the reporter geminivirus; however, it did activate a resistance-related response (systemic necrosis) to seven strains of Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) from pepper or tomato, but not to a CMV strain from common bean. Of these eight CMV strains, only the strain from common bean systemically infected common bean cv. Othello. Additional evidence that RT4-4 is a CMV R gene came from the detection of resistance response markers in CMV-challenged leaves of RT4-4 transgenic plants, and the identification of the CMV 2a gene product as the elicitor of the necrosis response. These findings indicate that RT4-4 functions across two plant families and is up-regulated in a non-virus-specific manner. This experimental approach holds promise for providing insights into the mechanisms by which plants activate resistance responses against pathogens.

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